Retired cricketing great Shane Warne has come out swinging at the news Australian junk food snack Tasty Toobs are no more.
Smith’s Snackfoods Company cited lack of consumer demand for the junk food as a reason for pulling the product from supermarket shelves across the country last week, prompting some consumer outcry on social media.
Warne took to his own Facebook page this week to lament the removal of the snack and even posted a video about the “demise of the Toobs”.
In the video posted to his social media page last night, Warne told his fans the snack is one of the things he looks forward to when he comes back to Australia, and finished by calling on others to campaign to get Smith’s to bring back the snack.
“Where are the Toobs, I read in the paper yesterday they’ve shut down Toobs. This cannot be happening,” Warne said.
“Toobs must come back, Toobs cannot disappear.
“Smith’s, get in touch, I’ve got a campaign.”
Warne added two hashtags to his “campaign”: #WhereAreTheToobs and #SaveToobs
Consumers have had an off and on again relationship with the snack in the past, with the Toobs first disappearing from production in 2001, only to come back in 2007.
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Posted by Shane Warne on Sunday, October 11, 2015
Nicole Reaney, director of InsideOutPR, told SmartCompany this morning a social media campaign from a celebrity such as Warne could potentially have a huge impact on a brand’s decision to pull an item.
She says Warne’s campaign is an example of how social media influencer marketing is becoming more prevalent.
“If you consider Shane’s following, which is about 500,000 followers on Facebook and about 2.3 million on Twitter,” she says.
“If that resulted in 5% in people buying Toobs or campaigning with him I’m certain this brand could be restored by Smith’s, it could become a good awareness campaign.”
Reaney says while Smith’s may have pulled the product for commercial reasons, a publicity campaign spearheaded by the likes of Warne has the potential to restore “brand love”.
“It could even bring out a limited edition to get people back on board,” she says.
Reaney says she wouldn’t be surprised to discover it is a smart publicity campaign with Warne purposely brought on board to boost the brand.
“Brands are really tapping into influencers online; this is a great way to generate awareness and a following for the brand,” she says.
Reaney says such a campaign could result in the brand reappearing at some point.
“It’s reminding consumers the product’s out there and they need to support the product in order for it to stay on the shelves,” she says.
SmartCompany contacted Smith’s Snackfood Company but did not receive a response prior to publication.